Much needed plant‐based, whole food nutrition to your diet.
Omega fatty acids are an extremely important part of everyone’s diet that often go unnoticed due to the importance of bigger worries such as ‘am I getting my 5-a-Day?’ or ‘How many calories are in this meal?’
You may cook regularly, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and always make sure to get some activity each and every day, but you may also need to keep on top of something else: your omega fatty acids.
Omega Fatty Acids – Plant Based
Simply said, omega fatty acids are types of polyunsaturated fat that come in the form of omega 3, 5,6, 7 and 9. Each of these has a different effect on the body and therefore, degree of importance in the body.
Most people in Western civilisation tend to be deficient in omega-3’s whilst having an abundance of omega-6. Neither of these are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ per say, it all comes down to the ratio you consume. You should always be chasing a 1:1 ratio, though this can be quite hard. So, a 2:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 is often thought to be just fine. However, many western diets can go up to a 20:1 due to the amount of fast and junk food available.
A great source of omega-3 fatty acids is oily fish such as salmon whereas omega 6 fatty acids can be found in high amounts within red meat and eggs. Consuming equal amounts of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids is associated with improved health markets such as healthier blood vessels and reduced plaque build-up in the arteries whilst also reducing your chance of conditions such as cancer, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are made of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, some of which you may recognise:
- EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
- DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
- ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
- Common sources of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Oily fish
- Fish Oil
Common sources of omega-6 fatty acids:
- Vegetable oil (soy, corn, sunflower, safflower, etc.)
- Red meat
Eating more omega-3s hasn’t only been shown to improve physical health, but mental health, too. Studies have shown that diets higher in omega fatty acids can reduce the risk of depression, Alzheimer’s, and other mental conditions whilst also improving overall mental cognition.
Unfortunately, ALA, the omega-3 fatty acid most commonly found in plant-based foods, is much less effective than both EPA and DHA as it needs to be converted into one of these other fatty acids in order to be utilised by the body.
That’s why vegetarians and vegans are at such a high risk of omega-3 deficiencies and that’s why we have a worlds first combination of omega’s 3-5-6-7- and 9.
You’ll also notice on a lot of food labels that certain items have been supplemented with omega-3s. These include products such as eggs, margarine, and nut butters. These additional omega-3s tend to come from ALA.
If eating fish on a frequent basis is impractical , not wanted for your lifestyle or simply not something your taste buds are a fan of, then you can also try the new Omega Blend. Generally, a 250mg combination of both EPA and DHA is a good minimum to start with. Though, supplementing your diet with more shouldn’t cause any harm unless the oil comes from a source high in mercury.
You’ll frequently hear foods such as walnuts being touted as good sources of omega-3s, but it’s important to remember here that we’re not searching for a ratio, not a certain amount of omega-3s. Unfortunately, walnuts are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, even higher than they are in omega-3s! Flaxseed tends to be a better choice with a 1:3 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3. For reference, soybean oil is around 7:1 and corn oil is around 45:1. On the other hand, fish oil is around 1:8 and krill oil, often touted as the best source of omega 3s, is around 1:12.
All in all, this is just more reason to eat a varied diet. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in a wide range of foods from plant based items to animal products. You just need to make sure you’re eating from a wide base of foods, not only for the omega fatty acids, but for the vitamins and minerals, too.
This new knowledge simply means that you might want to add in some plant based supplements like the NEW Omega Blend. As long as you also actively avoid foods or meals high in omega-6 such as is common with junk food, fast food or those high in animal products.
It’s Not A Great Idea For Vegans To Eat Seafood.
But let’s get back to the basics. Eat your berries, fruits and vegetables and have some fish, if you like. Of course, you should be careful about where that fish comes from.
If possible, vegetarians and vegans should try to include plants that come from the sea, such as spirulina, as they’ll contain a high amount of DHA and EPA. If this isn’t an option, then try to consume items with a good ratio of omega 3 to 6 such as flaxseed. You can also get vegetarian omega-3 supplements. However, it’s important to stress once again to look at what they’re made of as they may also contain a high amount of omega-6.
Look for omega supplements which use algae based ingredients opposed to things such as fishoil.
Also, these foods will be high in ALA not DHA or EPA. The successful conversation rate of ALA into one of the other two omega-3 fatty acids is around 5-15% which just goes to show how much you would have to eat.
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